The 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were filled with memorable moments, many of which were centered around the social and political progress of Hollywood.
The show opened with thunderous applause for The Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens. Owens had a recurring role on the popular ’80s sitcom but has since struggled to find acting work. In 2018 he made headlines when he was publicly shamed for working at a Trader Joe’s. During the award ceremony, Owens said, “Somewhere in the middle of the road of my life, I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt, but instead of switching careers like a sane person, I took a job at a local Trader Joe’s to see if I could hang in there with my career, and it’s actually worked out pretty well.”
Patricia Arquette, who won for her performance in Escape at Dannemora, gave a special shout-out to a special counsel when during her acceptance speech she said, “Thank you, Robert Mueller, and everyone working to make sure that we have sovereignty for the United States of America.”
One of the most rousing moments of the night came at the end of the show when the cast of Black Panther received the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Chadwick Boseman spoke on behalf of the ensemble and discussed the impact of the film on black actors.
“We know what it’s like to be the tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” said Boseman.
Boseman lamented that there have not been enough films and stages where black actors are featured. But he hopes the success of Black Panther changes that. So to answer a question that he is often asked, “Has it actually changed the way this industry works?” Boseman’s reply was met with a huge applause when he said, “My answer to that is, to be young, gifted and black.
“One thing I do know, ‘Did it change the industry?’ I know you can’t have a Black Panther now without a two on it.”
The Screen Actors Guild Awards aired Sunday at 8 p.m. on TBS.
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